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East Lambrook Manor Gardens Copyright Mike Werkmeister

History of Somerset Gardens Trust

The Somerset Gardens Trust was formed in 1990, one of a growing number of County Trusts, to record and preserve historic gardens and landscapes, which continues to be our aim today.

Three people were fundamental in setting up SGT: Lady (Elizabeth) Gass, Steven Pugsley and Ken Brown. Lady Gass, who was then a County Councillor, had a well-known interest in history and archaeology as well as gardens. Steven Pugsley had a close involvement in and experience from working with the newly formed Devon Gardens Trust. Ken Brown supported the cause with his experience as a County Council Planning Officer and with his knowledge of countryside and planning issues.

The Trust was launched in June 1990 at Dillington and by December 1991, when the first AGM was held at Cannington College, it had 144 members. A Council was elected with David Tudway Quilter as Chairman and Colonel Walter Luttrell as President. A Survey Group, an Education Committee and a fundraising Events Committee were formed. This is the basic structure we still have today and proved to be a solid foundation from which to grow the Trust.